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Ovechkin says Caps aren't ready to fold

Wednesday, 04.22.2009 / 11:07 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- He finally got on the scoresheet with his first goal of the series on his 32nd shot, but sometimes even a dominating forward like Alex Ovechkin isn't good enough to beat a supremely confident All-Star goalie.
 
"I think he saved the game again," Ovechkin said of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who made 38 saves, including 19 in the second period, as New York beat the Caps 2-1 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. "What can I say about him? He's great right now, but it's not done yet."
 
Ovechkin ripped a shot past Lundqvist 2:13 into the third period, capping a spectacular individual effort, to slice Washington's deficit in half. But it was the only one of Ovechkin's 11 shots on goal, four of which came in the third period, that beat the first star of the game.
 
Game 5 is Friday night at Verizon Center in Washington.
 
"They had three guys back after they got the lead and Lundqvist did an unbelievable job to give them the victory," Ovechkin said. "What else can I say?"
 
He actually had a lot more to say -- specifically about the Capitals' power play, which was 0-for-6 despite holding a significant edge in time of possession over the Rangers' penalty-killers. The Capitals are now 4-for-22 in the series.
 
Sean Avery's discipline problems resulted in a pair of power plays in the final 10 minutes of the game, but Ovechkin said he, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov and Mike Green were trying to be too fancy with the puck.
 
"Sometimes we play well and sometimes we try to be too cute and send passes over sticks and this is our problem," Ovechkin said.
 
With Avery in the box for roughing Milan Jurcina -- he drew blood while hitting the defenseman as icing was called -- the Caps held the puck in the zone for the full two minutes, but managed only one shot on goal, a 50-footer from Green. They missed the net four times, but most everything was from the outside anyway.
 
When Avery was sitting out for high-sticking Brian Pothier, the Caps couldn't hold the puck in the zone for long stretches and again got only one shot on goal, a 40-foot wrister from Brooks Laich.
 
"Nothing," Ovechkin said when he was asked what the Rangers' penalty-killers were doing to thwart their power play. "We just didn't play our game on the power play.
 
"Sometimes we take too many shots, but now we tried to create some good opportunities to find the open guy. One time Greenie gives me a nice pass and I just missed the puck. Hey, that's the game."
 
While Ovechkin did finally beat Lundqvist -- on a 40-foot rifle of a snap shot that Lundqvist said was "just a rocket" -- the goalie also robbed him with sparkling glove save on a low shot targeted for the bottom left corner of the net late in the third period.
 
"I was not frustrated," said Ovechkin, who also hit the crossbar during the first Avery-generated power play. "It's the game and he's a great goalie so he has to make some great saves. I think we're good players, too, and we didn't score on our chances. They scored two lucky goals. We played with energy and we played with passion, but it's not good enough for a victory."
 
Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com


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